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PFC Norman L. Halvorson, 776th Tank Destroyer Bn.

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by TD-Tommy776, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    (This was originally posted in the Honoree section at www.tankdestroyer.net, which is a fantastic website for anyone interested in the Tank Destroyer Units of World War II. Thanks to Rob and Steve for all the help and support they have given me in researching my great uncle's WWII service. To encourage you all to visit the TD website, I have decided to not include Bud's V-Mail to his sister in this post. You can see it by going to his Honoree page at the TD website.)


    Bud_Halvorson_1.png


    Norman L. "Bud" Halvorson was born on March 11, 1918 in Hoffman, Minnesota, which is in Grant County. He was the son of Thomas and Betsey Halvorson and graduated from Hoffman High School. He worked in the area until March 21, 1942 when he entered the U.S. Army.

    After joining the Army in March of 1942, Bud received training at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was transferred to the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion and was trained in Tank Destroyer tactics at Camp Hood, Texas. Bud was assigned to "C" Company of the 776th and shipped overseas in December 1942. The 776th landed in Tunisia in January of 1943 where they saw their first action of the war. From Tunisia, the 776th went on to Italy where they saw action in the battles at Cassino, Volturno River crossings and the breakthrough to Rome. The 776th was then transferred to France where they supported the 44th Infantry Division during the German Nordwind Offensive. On January 4th, 1945, during the offensive, Bud was wounded in action for which he received a Purple Heart. 
Bud quickly recovered and, after a brief hospital stay, returned to "C" Company. On March 15, 1945, the 776th was attached to the 63rd Infantry Division to support its penetration of the Siegfried Line. Company "C" was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for their part in breaching the German "last line of defense". Eventually, Bud and the 776th ended the war in Ehrwald, Austria. Bud left the service at the rank of PFC.

    After his discharge on October 14, 1945, Bud returned to his hometown of Hoffman, Minnesota. He never married and due to poor health, spent many years in VA care centers. In January 1994, he became a resident of the Hoffman Good Samaritan Center until his passing on October 7, 1998. Bud was buried at Bethel Cemetery next to his brother Glenn, who was KIA on Luzon in the Philippines on January 30, 1945.

    Norman-Halverson-Grave-Marker.png
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  2. 693FA

    693FA Member Patron  

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    TD great post thanks for sharing it.....Bud and Glenn RIP thanks for what you did!:poppy::poppy:
     
  3. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Thanks for sharing that TD.




    Crustaceans were pretty cheap then huh? ;)
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Thanks guys.

    Yes, Biak, but where did he get 4+ million of them? :cool:

    Don't answer that!
     
  5. Spitfire_XIV

    Spitfire_XIV Member

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    Thanks for sharing this interesting article TD :)
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    I was recently provided with a photo of Bud which was taken sometime before WWII.

    Bud.jpg

    Bud is the one facing the camera. It's interesting to see how much younger he looks in this photo compared to the one (above) taken in 1944. As they say, it's not the years. It's the mileage.

    God bless you, Bud. :poppy:
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  7. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5 Patron  

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    Rest in Peace Bud and Glenn. Good work Tommy. Out of salutes, sending one tomorrow.


    Could not salue the initial post. Got the family picnic photo though.

    Note to self. Must fish MN someday.
     
  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    I came across a copy of an old newspaper clipping. It is an article about a letter that Bud wrote to his mother from Austria sometime after VE Day. According to the article, the letter was written from Salzburg, Austria. Only part of the letter is quoted, but I thought it might give a little insight into what he was like:

    [Emphasis added]

    I did a quick Google search and am sure that the castle Bud was so impressed with was Herrenchiemsee New Palace. It is located in Germany about 60km southeast of Munich and not far from Salzburg, Austria.
     
  9. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Somehow missed the photo of Bud when you posted it. A very handsome young man. And love the piece of his letter to his mother.
     
  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Thanks Clem. I wish I had the whole original letter, but I am happy to have the portion printed in the local paper. I have this picture of him walking through the castle slack-jawed and eyes wide open trying to take it all in. He had seen so much in the previous 3 years and yet there is still that childlike awe of something beyond his experience.
     
  11. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

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    RIP Bud.
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    One of my aunts (Bud's niece) was doing some spring cleaning and found a couple of his personal items. Nothing WW2 related. I guess I've become his unofficiall heir. Hope to visit Bud & Glenn on Monday.
     
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    My mother and her sister put flowers on the family graves earlier this week. She and I visited Bud and Glenn yesterday. It was a beautiful day.

    Halvorson_Bud_2014_B.jpg


    You will not be forgotten, Bud. Be at peace. :S!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Remembering you this Veterans Day, Bud. :poppy:
     
  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    You will never be forgotten, uncle Bud. :poppy:
     
  16. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5 Patron  

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  17. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Seventy-one years ago, just before midnight on New Year's Eve, the Germans launched Operation NORDWIND during one of the coldest winters on record. At that time, Bud's Company was located in Sarreguemines, France in support of the 2nd Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment. Fortunately, the enemy unit in their sector was the much diminished 19th Volks-Grenadier Division. Whether that fortune was good or bad, is difficult to know with any certainty.

    Effective on 1 January 1945, Bud along with 15 other men of Company C, 776th TD Battalion were promoted from PVT to PFC.

    Halvorson Bud 1Jan45.jpg

    At the same time on the other side of the planet, his brother Glenn was experiencing a very different New Year's Day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    1 January 1945 - Map from the 44th Division website:

    Nordwind Map 44th.jpg

    Note: The above map has the positions of the 36th Volks-grenadier Division and the 17th SS Panzer-grenadier Divisions reversed. However, it does show the relative positions of the 114th and 71st Infantry battalions. Here is a map from the German perspective:

    NORDWIND_Map_Attack_Plan.jpg

    from 114th Infantry Regiment history:


    "At 1127 Division warned that a major coordinated attack could be expected from the enemy at 1200, but the expected attack did not materialize. The First Battalion of the 253rd Infantry, 63rd Division, was attached to the 114th and moved into Sarreguemines that afternoon. It was planned that the 253rd, less their Third Battalion, would relieve the 114th Infantry who in turn would relieve the 71st Infantry the following day, but the proposed relief was called off because an enemy attack drove back the Third Battalion of the 253rd just off the right flank of the 71st. At 0445 the enemy was south of Gros Rederching with 10 tanks and from one to two battalions of infantry."

    On 2 January, the AAR for the 776th TD Bn has C Company supporting A Company in the 71st Infantry Sector, probably E or NE of Woelfling (On the 44th Division map, Woelfling is located under the word "Regiments").

    Again, from the 114th Infantry history:


    "Our Second Battalion with the Second Battalion of the 71st Infantry started attacking at 0500 on the 3rd to regain positions out of which the Third Battalioin of the 253rd was forced the night before. At the same time the Second French Armored Division went into action with infantry to clear Achen and seize Gros Rederching."

    The 776th AAR for 3 January has C Company moving back to Weisviller at about 0450 hours. They then "covered the attack of the Second Battalion 114th Infantry and moved forward with attack to position at 616536 (approx. 3km E of Woelfling)."
     
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  19. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    4 Jan 1945

    The AARs and unit histories say little regarding the 4th of January. Presumably, C/776th was still supporting the attack of the 2/114th. Surprisingly, the Morning Reports for C Company are much more informative, most specifically with respect to the recently promoted PFC Halvorson. Originally reported on the MR for 5 Jan 45, the corrected entry on 6 Jan 45 reads as follows:


    37169884 Halvorson, Norman L. Pfc.
    (Asgd) Duty to ab sk place unknown, LWA by enemy artillery fire in vicinity of Woelf-
    ling, France 1500 hrs 4 Jan 45. Shrapnel laceration wound left pectoral region.

    Halvorson MR 6Jan45.jpg

    Another document obtained defines the wound as a laceration "with no nerve or artery involvement". It also indicates he was in the hospital for 10 days. However, according to the Morning Reports, he returned to duty 24 Jan 45 -- twenty days after he was WIA.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Remembering you this weekend, Bud. :poppy:
     

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